WT Foods goes private with Bridgepoint

The MBO of the speciality food manufacturer involved £128.5m in funding.

WT Foods, one of the UK's largest manufacturers and distributors of speciality and ethnic foods, has been taken private in an MBO backed by private equity firm Bridgepoint Capital.

Reported to be underway earlier in the year on PEO, the confirmed transaction involved an investment total of £128.5m: the purchase of the company's issued share capital required a £75.1m investment – valuing each share at 47 pence. There was further growth capital of £53.4m put in.

Guy Weldon at Bridgepoint Capital commented: 'De-listing the company will give the business a longer investment horizon and the financial resources it needs to play a full role in the expected consolidation of the ethnic / oriental food sector through a series of targeted bolt-on acquisitions in the coming years.'

The company had a turnover of £120.1m for the year ending 31 March 2001 and will continue to be led by managing director Keith Stott and finance director Rod Garland.

This transaction is the eleventh public-to-private deal undertaken by Bridgepoint and also joins a roster of food and beverage sector investments by the firm. It has already invested £156.5m in snack manufacturer Golden Wonder and E109m in Spanish wine producer Arco Bodegas.